THE President of the UK’s Lawn Tennis Association has paid a visit to Trowbridge to see facilities and meet members at Wiltshire’s Tennis Club of the Year 2021.

David Rawlinson posed for a photograph with members at Trowbridge Westbourne Tennis Club in Westbourne Gardens before enjoying a knock around with some of them.

During his visit on Saturday, he said: “The facilities here are very good but people are more important. It’s important to have good coaches and good junior training programmes going on.

Kay Gilbert, the Chippenham & District Tennis League representative for Trowbridge Westbourne Tennis Club, said the club now has 206 members aged four to 74.

“We have won five trophies this year in the Chippenham & District Tennis League, and we also welcome Ukrainian refugees on a special scheme.”

One of the club’s up and coming juniors, is Tillie Woods 14, who was the League’s Junior Player of the Year, following a series of victories over her opponents.

She recently played doubles against Tessa McWhirter, aged 74, of Chippenham Parr Tennis Club, who is one of the league’s oldest players.

Mrs Gilbert said: ““There aren’t many sports where a 60-year age gap is not a barrier to competing against each other.

“Whilst Tillie can run to hit aggressive top spin winners, Tessa plays with slice and can outfox her opponents with clever placement of the ball. Both learn from each other and have fun doing so.

“Tillie has been a very valuable addition to our Women’s A team; it’s been lovely to see her enjoying her tennis and learning to play against different styles of players.  

“She can use the experience she gets at local league level to help her play more strategically on the LTA regional singles circuit.”

Rob Tedder, chair of Trowbridge Westbourne Tennis Club, added: “In addition to our robust safeguarding policy, our club has recently published a new junior/youth pathway into the adult game, to make sure younger players can have a good experience when transitioning to play in the open club sessions or represent the club in league matches.

“Keeping juniors in sport is key to promoting healthy active lifestyles, and as a volunteer run community club, we offer something for everyone.  

“They can access coaching with Blue Sky Tennis at our club, join in club sessions, play competitive matches, or book courts for free play.  We welcome all new members.”